Adjectives ending in '-ed' and '-ing'

Do you know the difference between bored and boring?

Look at these examples to see how adjectives ending in -ed and -ing are used.

I was really bored in that presentation.
That was a really boring presentation.

Try this exercise to test your grammar.

Grammar test 1

Grammar test 1: Adjectives ending in '-ed' and '-ing'

Read the explanation to learn more.

Grammar explanation

Adjectives that end in -ed (e.g. bored, interested) and adjectives that end in -ing (e.g. boring, interesting) are often confused.

-ed adjectives

Adjectives that end in -ed generally describe emotions – they tell us how people feel.

I was so bored in that lesson, I almost fell asleep.
He was surprised to see Helen after all those years.
She was really tired and went to bed early.

-ing adjectives

Adjectives that end in -ing generally describe the thing that causes the emotion – a boring lesson makes you feel bored.

Have you seen that film? It's really frightening.
I could listen to her for hours. She's so interesting.
I can't sleep! That noise is really annoying!

Here are some adjectives that can have both an -ed and an -ing form.

annoyed annoying
bored boring
confused confusing
disappointed disappointing
excited exciting
frightened frightening
interested interesting
surprised surprising
tired tiring
worried worrying

Do this exercise to test your grammar again.

Grammar test 2

Grammar test 2: Adjectives ending in '-ed' and '-ing'

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thank you, the lesson is very helpfull for me, i understand now a difference between these adjectives.

Thanks LearnEnglish team
This lesson is very clear, but I am still struggling on these two adjectives : matched and matching that are not in the list. I don't know how to use them.
Thank you in advance for your help.

Hi dugny36,

'Matching' means having the same characteristic or a complementary characteristic as something else, especially something visual such as a colour or a design. Here are some examples:

  • My wife and I wore matching T-shirts.
  • James is wearing a shirt with a matching tie.

See the Cambridge Dictionary page on 'matching' here for more explanation and examples: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/matching

'Matched' is similar in meaning, but is mainly used for non-visual similarities. It emphasises the idea that the two items have already been put together. Some examples:

  • The players were evenly matched. (i.e., they had a similar skill level)
  • They have been married for years. They are a well matched pair.

I hope that helps.

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you for impressive education. I had annoyed for first test but second test was excited for me.

This is a fabulous lesson. I'm extremely excited about it. Daily in the morning, I learn grammar. And I'm trying to improve it. This course helps me a lot.

This lesson is very exciting,I am realy excited.
My brother is very tired,his work is realy boring.

Hello! Thank you so much for such useful lesson! Can you tell me, please, which ending have I to add in this case "The idea of affordable green housing is a criticizing/ criticized topic, with some critics saying that it is a fallacy" It must be ending -ing, am I right? Or, maybe, I can use both variants? Thank you in advance!

Hi LayaGol,

It should be 'criticised' ('The idea of affordable green housing is criticised, with some critics saying ...). The meaning is that the idea is criticised by people (i.e., by critics).

Not all adjectives have both -ed and -ing forms. The word 'criticising' doesn't exist as an adjective, only as an -ing verb form.

I hope that helps.

Jonathan
The LearnEnglish Team

Learnt something new today - 'ed' adjective as the emotion and 'ing' as adjective to cause the emotion. Thanks.

Dear learnenglish team, You're really doing great for helping us improve our English skills. But, I was just wondering how can I identify the lessons I have taken to avoid confusing about where I am.

Hello Maahir,

We don't keep a record of which pages have been visited or which tasks have been completed by each user. Perhaps one day we'll add this functionality, but for the moment you'll need to use your own memory or keep your own records.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

When the abj end with ed it's describe someone feeling or emotion and other think It's cause of emotion or feeling understand this think but some it's make me confusing.
This lesson is really great and helpful to me.I. clearly understand your explanations about the difference between "ed" and "ing". Thank u for your clear explanations.
Hello! You said adjectives plus ed plus ing .So, the question is here , why there are some adjectives we do not add ed or ing for them? For example - ill , angry , sad and so on .Thanks .

Hi rational1,

The adjectives with -ed and -ing are made from verbs (e.g. bored and boring come from the verb bore; annoyed and annoying come from the verb annoy).

But not all adjectives are like this. Some adjectives aren't made from verbs, like the examples you mentioned.

Does that make sense?

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks for these explanations and exercises.You're helping too much students all over the world

Hello Hlaingbobo Win,

That's not quite right. You can use both forms with people and things.

The difference is this: adjectives ending in -ing describe how a person or thing affects others, while adjectives ending in -ed describe how a person or things feels or is changed.

That was a boring film. I didn't enjoy it.

Paul is interesting. I like listening to him

I have a broken computer so I can't send you the document.

Do you have a working computer? I need to send an email.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

so confusing. sometimes i am interested in to do more tasks to keep our mind so much time...
Thanks, British Council. The lesson is very helpful. But I wonder, Is there any list of adjectives that only use -ed or -ing?

Hello Rissa,

I'm not aware of any such list. In fact, I can think of many adjectives which are neither -ing or -ed, but very few adjectives which only occur in one form, such as hardworking. There are also examples where the -ing form is not an adjective at all, such as misunderstanding, and the adjectival form is a past participle (misunderstood - an irregular form rather than the regular -ed).

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team